( This blog was originally written in the form of posts on Facebook by Jey Sushil and later collected together. Those who want to read further can start from Franz Kafka’s metamorphosis from where the inspiration came to write these posts. Other references are from Chinua Achebe’s things fall apart, J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the rye, Kafka’s The trial, Albert Camus’s Stranger etc)
One fine morning of January I was turned into that insect named Gregor Samsa..
And then you sit on a mechanical creature which will take you to those known places of yours ….. The place where Gregor Samsa worked as an Ant. Sitting on the creature Samsa thought of his mere existence. He sipped the cup of coffee held in his hand.
Coldness has slipped into the coffee and it tasted stale. Samsa wanted to throw the coffee on the face of his co-passenger but he couldn’t gather the courage.
His co-passenger was a larger insect compared to his small fragile structure. He kept sipping the coffee. The sudden heat of sun started hurting his eyes and he wiped his nose with his bare hands thinking about the last night when he mated with another insect of his own kind.
That was awesome he thought and slept with the coffee in his hands. His known territories were yet to come…he wanted to spend the journey with the sweet memories of last night.
The morning was great. You wake up with sweetness in your mouth and feel fresh as flower….you do your chores….you read a bit as prescribed by oneself…
You perform the ritual of cleaning your body with water…..you pray to unknown..
And then suddenly you feel like sulking as you have to leave………
That sudden sulk makes you jittery, irritated and reclusive and then you feel like running away to the cave of your soul.
One of those days when you keep thinking
Why do I EXIST and then you realise your name is GREGOR SAMSA…
Then you just wake up and run……you keep running to the jungle where you find Okenkowo under the Ulebue tree hanging with his tongue out…
You cry out loud to realise that you do not have the tear glands. You sit on the rock near the hanging legs of Okenkowo and think about the Rabbit of Roth.
No One understands Gregor Samsa….Not Even Kafka……otherwise He wouldn’t have written his story. He would have simply put him out of his misery just by not writing it.
Samsa never forgave Kafka and he had no way to punish him so he decided to live with Kafka in his mind.
And then Kafka shifted to a Sanatorium.
Gregor Samsa wanted to quit……….but then Kafka wanted to write……Samsa suggested that Kafka should name his character Murakami but Kafka never liked jazz and seashore so he decided against it.
Samsa was unhappy as he turned into an human being. He liked being an insect. He enjoyed eight legs and a large belly. In that way he could avoid the vagaries of human world and can live peacefully in his cave.
But Kafka made him a human being and Samsa’s life ended then and there. When he died he met Murakami who was writing another story by the name of ‘When Gregor Samsa Fell in Love’.
That day Samsa died again.
It was again a January morning and Samsa felt restless….He couldn’t bear the coldness of January. He was aching for sunlight though he knew that the harshness of sun had made him murder someone whom he met as a stranger on the Mediterranean beach….That day was hot and Samsa didn’t like it. The light reflected on his eyes and in the desperation he fired and killed the stranger.
Samsa never repented his crime and spent his time in the jail. He escaped the guillotine because of the labyrinth of lies his lawyers made. Samsa was never comfortable with those lies and he left Mediterranean and shifted to the torturous cold of Germany.
Where he missed the brazing sun at times..Samsa was a stranger for himself.
And on that fateful day…Gregor Samsa met Holden Caulfield who had just left his school and walking down to the fair in the park.
Samsa waived at him and asked where is he going. The conversation ensued without any speech as they walked together. They ordered their separate beer and started sipping. The silence grew heavier between them.
Samsa looked in the eyes of the 16 year old Caulfield and asked : Why are you running from the world.
Caulfield gave a half smile and said, Because I dont want to turn into an insect in my sleep.
Samsa had nothing else to say…..he left his beer and slowly walked out of the bar…..and then he uttered two words………Phoney kid…..
In one of those lazy evenings Samsa realized that No one reads what he writes continuously but he was not bothered..
He was practicing and felt comfortable with the fact that most of the people didn’t understood anything he said or wrote.
After all he was building a character whom no one will understand. Everyone will treat him as desolate, nerve-wrecked, depressed genius after his death.
Samsa has named this character…he chose the name carefully He named it
Gregor Samsa was born in the darkness of a damp room. When he gained consciousness, he realized that he was dead.
But he could move freely…he could cry….and people near him looked at him with strange eyes.
Samsa couldn’t figure out why he was born. He kept asking the same question to people he spend time with and everyone told him the same thing.
He couldn’t understand a word of it. He kept asking and one fine day he decided to commit suicide by hanging himself on a tree. The tree was Ulebue tree…and Okenkowo was sitting near it.
Okenkowo asked him….Samsa, Do you know what is Humiliation? Samsa, Do you know what is Love? Samsa, Do you know what is Slavery? Samsa, Do you know how does it feel to be Black?
Samsa said, ‘I know only how it is to be dead and I want to born.’
Okenkowo gave Samsa the ROPE.
When Gregor Samsa woke up in the morning , his spine was in severe pain. He couldn’t straighten up himself. His belly has shrunken and his limbs got smaller. Two of his limbs vanished.
He was turned into a human and he was scared a lot moving out of the hole he was sleeping.
With great difficulty, he tried to balance himself on the four limbs he had now and looked around.
The mirror in the room was huge and Samsa can look at him in that. He was perplexed to see his face which had no antennas , eyes have moved in symmetry and nose had protruded, his mouth had developed a huge tongue which was uncomfortable for Samsa.
And then a voice came…Gregor…get ready for office…breakfast is ready…
Samsa wanted to go back to sleep again that day.
Walking with two limbs which they called legs was most difficult for Samsa in the beginning. He was at ease walking on his eight limbs , sometimes touching his large abdomen to ground feeling attached to earth.
But then he had changed and he couldn’t help it. He couldn’t smell the way he used to. He left for work….he couldnt fly and he felt frustrated. In the bus he gazed down to the window and sat down to look outside…where he belonged.
In the bus , he was accompanied by all two legged creatures like him. Most of them were without souls. Samsa still had that ability to see through the two legged creatures except himself.
He wanted to run away but then he had to earn and he had to follow what his parents asked him to do.
He had to work and come back home. It was his first day as homo-sapien…..
Samsa never broke his silence in the insurance office where he worked. He had hard day in office understanding that he had to do there.
The colleagues, as they called each other looked at him with no surprise which bothered him.
He didn’t introduced himself to anyone but everyone recognized him. For him carrying that laptop bag (that’s what they called the leather thing) was nightmare as he had to balance it.
For the whole day Samsa patiently watched everyone in silence. He kept adjusting that leather thing on which he had to type (as they explained).
He wanted to lie down on his abdomen and smell things but he couldn’t do things he wished..he felt caged…he felt ashamed…he felt like a human…..
Samsa wonders what’s this world of sapiens all about? With all the metal creatures moving, with all these buildings and shrieking sounds…how can someone live with all that shit.
Samsa was missing the tree hole where he live before becoming the two limbed walking nightmare.
His eyes itched all the time with pollution and he kept coughing. No one helped him. He learned walking and eating with great difficulty. Eating food without smelling felt like a battle in the beginning but slowly he realized..Living like a human is nothing less than a war.
And he decided to survive with the knowledge that one day he had to Die. That will be the happiest day of this melancholic existence.
Then Samsa met people…They asked him…who is Kafka?
Samsa coiled in his own frame and couldn’t utter a word. He kept his quite and said…O Kafka…please forgive them…they don’t know what they don’t know……..
Samsa ran from there just to realise he couldn’t run…his legs crackled and he fell down on his face. Humans came to rescue him.
He didn’t wanted to get up. He loved touching his abdomen to the earth..he felt at home falling down on the road. There was no soil but Samsa still felt comfortable lying on his belly…
Samsa was learning slowly and steadily to work in the insurance office. He knew he had to check the claims made by two legged creatures. He was told that many will make false claims and he had to check it thoroughly.
But they were not aware that Samsa had the gift of seeing the souls of Humans and he could tell by looking at them whether the claim is true or false but he decided not to reject any insurance claim.
He wanted to see How deceitful a human can be. He started smiling at those people who came with false claim. They cried, sobbed and spoke in pathetic voice to get sympathy….Samsa looked at them, smiled and passed the papers.
No one understood Why Samsa Smiled…..all the time.
Samsa was on a weekend for two days. He slept for 48 hours in the hope of returning to his old days of being an insect but he woke up again as the same man.
He thought to himself…..this is the only good thing about the miserable human life where he has to go to work every day.
He came to the insurance office again feeling lost and started sipping his coffee. another good thing he liked slightly about the human life.
and Suddenly a though came to his mind….Am I turning into them whom I hate the most…
The cup of coffee fell down and Samsa started smiling at his desolate soul. He wanted to cry actually but he smiled and kept his quite…..
Samsa had a window of his own in the insurance office where he sat. When he is not clearing the insurance papers, he looked out of the window for hours sipping his coffee….coffee which usually gets cold because Samsa was use to stare the coffee before he takes a sip.
The window had no view. A wall hanged in front him where coolers jutted out of them…many of them. Samsa thought they were spirits..but then he was told about coolers and he stopped looking at them.
but he liked to watch outside…A little bit of sky he could watch beyond the wall with the spirits. That sky made him livable for those hours in the insurance office.
He was now a bit comfortable walking with two legs but he was still not comfortable with the food Humans ate. Those spoons, forks and napkins…Samsa craved to eat with his hands…
Samsa wanted to touch his limbs with his mouth all the time..
Samsa was realising slowly that human play games and make others uncomfortable.
Especially in the insurance office he worked, Samsa was astonished to see the games. He never took part in any games but someone somewhere made him a part which was not possible in the insect world he has lived in.
He was having bad days in his office and couldn’t figure out what is happening around him. He could see the souls and the layers of corruption in them. He kept quite because saying a thing about it would have exposed him to the web of lies human create.
Samsa could have created the web on his own as he was an insect originally and still retained few of those qualities. But he decided not to. He wanted to go back to what he was originally and he slept everyday praying that next morning he might be turned back into an insect and live his peaceful serene life…
But the end was yet to come. He had to suffer. He had to live the monotonous, deceitful, frustrating, fake life of a human being.
Late in the night….Samsa had to come to the Railway station. His parents are leaving. He couldn’t understand the parent-son relationship. He never have known such relationship. As an insect they never had any such relation.
Living with humans in last few months he saw humans crying for their parents., Loving them, hugging them. He thought to do the same with the humans living with him but he couldn’t. He felt a distance with these humans who called them his parents.
Today they were leaving him and Samsa had a sense of relief. He was feeling no guilt for his behaviour. Humans thought Samsa is mad and they abused him for his such behavoir.
Samsa had no idea. He was neither happy nor sad..he was relieved. He didn’t have to live with two humans anymore.
Suddenly Samsa had an urge to have beer which he had started liking. He felt a bit ashamed of liking the drink humans love…
He didn’t celebrated . He went back to his bed in the hope of becoming an insect again.
Samsa had decided not to smile today. He didn’t wanted to see the souls of wretched humans. He felt ashamed of his vision and truths he came to know as he worked everyday.
He was told that humans are most beautiful creature made by God. He was told that God can do anything if only someone asks him politely. Samsa walked on that evening in search of God. He went to the church and saw a sculpture of a man with long hairs and asked him for two things.
Make me an insect again so I can be happy and if that is not possible take the vision which makes me see the souls of humans
The wretched two legged man pinned on a cross whom everyone called christ gave him a faint smile and said….have mercy…be gentle…be kind….don’t judge…
Samsa came back from the church perplexed. He thought of the answers and said to himself..this is what I use to do when I was an insect…..and then he smiled back with another thought of his own…
God is an insect….that night Samsa couldn’t sleep and he wrote something a long poem named….thus spoke Samsa…..
Late in the night when Samsa takes a broken walk with the unnatural legs he had grown, he thinks about his new life.
He wonders about human life and ponders about its intricacies. He couldn’t talk much with his colleagues or his neighbours but he had understood few things.
Humans eat and reproduces mostly. Some think and few of them have a soul but those are rare. He never wanted to be friends with those rare ones…they made him miss his insect life more and more.
He had started liking coffee, beer and eggs and now he wanted to fall in love. He had no idea about love but everyone told him that it is the most beautiful feeling.
Samsa wanted to experience that feeling so he started looking for a female insect but then he realized…he had to look for a two legged human with ……and…..
He had seen them but couldn’t figure out why they are the ones to love. Why can’t he love the humans who looks like him.
He was told it was forbidden……
On that fateful day…Samsa was asked about his religion and he had no idea. He had to write something. He wrote….Human..but he was scolded for making fun of others.
He was given options…to choose..he uttered those words. Ch-ri-st-ian ….Hi-ndu…Je-w…..Mu-s-lim….
He liked the rhyme in Muslim. Though hindu and Je-w were easy to pronounce but he chose Muslim for the rhyme.
The moment he said Muslim……all hell broke loose. Samsa was asked to step aside and taken to a room where his trial began..
Samsa had no idea what was wrong in choosing Muslim. He was questioned abt his name and his name mentioned suddenly as mohammad Samsa. Samsa didn’t like that. In last few days since his transformation into a human., He got comfortable with the name people called him with.
For the first time he retorted and spoke in a high pitch…My name is Gregor Samsa and Iam not an insect.
Every morning when Samsa wakes up, he feels disgusted looking at his overgrown limbs, flat stomach and no tentacles. He had to stretch his limbs to wake up and feel fresh.
His longing to walk on his stomach gets fierce and he sleeps again touching his stomach to the ground.
All these chores he had learnt in his human forms makes him tired. Brushing, bathing, going to the toilet to defecate and most irritating was wearing clothes.
He couldn’t understand why these humans wear clothes. He wondered what is so different between these humans which they conceal.
He never wanted to wear any clothes and once he saw a naked human on the road and felt happy. Others scolded him and called him mad.
Mad….that is the word he always heard when people talked about him. They thought Samsa is going crazy…he is going mad.
Samsa smiled at this thought and said to himself. They are all mad.
One of those days when Samsa wanted to relax but he had this habit of working 24 hours day and night. That is what he knew as an insect.
In human form, he saw people relaxing for two days. It intrigued him to an extent that he also relaxed in his weekend but he felt like working even then. The habits die hard, he thought to himself.
He took a long walk in the park. Drank coffee. Made omelette which he had learnt in last few days. Drank beer and ate bread.
He felt good which is rare even for his own standards….
Samsa always liked the damp weather when there is no sun and no rain.
In such weather he use to walk on the leaves. As a human also he liked such weather. he had noticed his gait has improved, he also noticed that his hairs were growing, he also noticed that he could kill any insect just with his lower limb called legs.
sometimes he felt very powerful but at the same time he felt so helpless in the changed body. he had stopped dreaming about turning back into an insect.
he had made adjustments and wanted to spend the rest of his life peacefully but then he fall in love.
And then Samsa thought….why people fall in Love..
he felt no pain…no happiness…he just wanted to see that girl about whom he was told that she loves him.
Samsa had no idea what was there in him to love.Samsa had no idea of love. for him love meant to produce. many times in a year.
he thought to himself…may be humans also wants to reproduce but they were ashamed to say it. so they named it Love.
He thought to share his thoughts with the girl he was sitting with but then he kept quite. apparently that girl loved his silence.
after a while that silence became unbearable for Samsa and he said to her…Can we reproduce???
The girl replied…No but we can have Sex…
Samsa got puzzled..
Samsa was happy today which is rare. There was a reason for him to be happy. early in the morning he woke up and he saw books near his bed.
Apparently all books were written by great authors and it was gifted to him by his girlfriend with whom he was inclined to produce though it seemed impossible.
he woke up with a heavy head and couldn’t figure out why he was feeling so. The last thing he remembered was the beer and then he had no memory.
He woke up…saw the books..picked one..It was a book named The meta-morphisis. The smell of the book wa irresistible. he smelled if for a while and tear apart a page and put it in his mouth.
It tasted divine. he tore apart another page and ate that too. he made some coffee and kept eating the book. He realized the feeling as happiness.
He met his girlfriend during lunch. She asked..How was the book. he replied it was awesome…..
He burped….saying awesome and asked his girlfriend in the crowded restaurant…When can we have Sex???
Samsa was watching the birds on that sad morning when he came to know about his birth. How he became a human. How he slept as an insect in the serenity of the cave he had for himself. He heard the violent sounds of lovemaking in the cave. he saw two large creatures with his half open eyes. They had fire beside them and were stark naked fighting with each other.
Samsa closed his eyes and went a bit deep in his small hole so that he doesn’t get disturbed or killed by these strange creatures with long limbs and ability to make fire.
Fire always attracted Samsa but that night he didn’t go near the fire as he was scared of the creatures and the sounds they were making.
He slept and woke up in a bedroom where he had been turned as a Human. He saw those two creatures outside the room and later he got to know that they were his parents.
From then onward, his life has been a wave of lies, deceit and desperation and dullness.
On those days everyone looked happy and gay. Samsa couldn’t figure out what was wrong with humans in those days of February. Everyone made plans for something except Samsa.
He had no plans of any sort. He just wanted to be left alone but his girl wanted him to take her to Prague. a Bohemian city.
Samsa had no idea about Prague. he wanted to know what they will be doing in Prague. she said they will make love..Samsa heard…We will reproduce.
and then he said..Why not here…why not now..??
She left the conversation and Samsa decided not to stop her because he could see what she wanted from him.
Samsa was not ready for it. He said to himself…..I will never be ready for this.
( This blog was originally written in the form of posts on Facebook and later collected together. Those who want to read further can start from Franz kafka’s metamorphosis from where the inspiration came to write these posts. Other references are from Chinua achebe’s things fall apart, J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the rye, Kafka’s The trial, Albert Camus’s Stranger etc)